From a true Barbie ⇒

Do you know that the word arthritis is a hyperonym used to describe more than 100 different conditions that affect the joints of the human body? Have you heard that no matter what type of arthritis is diagnosed in a person; the most common symptom is chronic pain?

Since 2001, medicinal cannabis (also known as marijuana) has been an option for legal treatment in Canada for specific health conditions, including arthritis. It is estimated that two-thirds of Canadians who use cannabis for medical purposes do so to manage their arthritis symptoms.

Medicinal cannabis means any product, maybe natural or synthetic, made from cannabis or its active ingredients for therapeutic purposes. In Canada, the supply of medicinal cannabis/marijuana is controlled by the federal government, which regulates authorized sellers – who produce and distribute the product. This activity is closely monitored and controlled.

What Exactly is Arthritis?

Arthritis is any disorder that affects the joints with pain, stiffness, swelling and reduced mobility. This is the most common cause of disability, and there is no cure. Cannabis is becoming increasingly popular among patients for arthritis because it reduces pain and swelling and THC like CBD is being tested in the laboratory or clinical trials in recent years.

The most common forms of this illness are osteoarthritis, and this usually occurs with age, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease. Other types of rheumatic diseases are gout, lupus, fibromyalgia and septic arthritis. Pain is a common symptom for all types of arthritis, while reduced mobility can have other adverse effects. Plus, apart from physical therapy, exercise and weight control, some medications can help in reducing inflammation and pain. Many patients become addicted to painkillers, and many of them die because of the suppressive action of opiates on the central nervous system. In the United States and other countries, an epidemic of addiction to painkillers is underway as patients try to manage the symptoms of arthritis and other diseases. In countries where cannabis or marijuana is legal, and many people take cannabis derivatives instead of painkillers, deaths from medical opioid use have been reduced by 25 percent.

Cannabis is Tested in the Laboratory Against Arthritis.

Evidence from laboratory research and human trials suggests that THC, CBD and all cannabis phytocomplexes have a therapeutic effect in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation. An essential clue to cannabis and pain in scientific research came from this 2007 study. Research has proven that our nerves in charge of conveying the signal of joint pain to the brain are overflowing with cannabinoid receptors. This study concludes by observing that CB1 peripheral receptors could be important targets for controlling the pain of osteoarthritis.

As research continues, the animal cannabinoid receptor system is increasingly being studied as a therapeutic target for the treatment of pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, as confirmed by this report.

A whole new branch of research is currently exploring CBD for its effectiveness as an anti-arthritic agent without the psychotropic effects of THC. One of the first studies on the action of CBD suggests a possible oral intake of CBD as an anti-arthritis substance, while a more recent study concludes that a synthetic cannabinoid derived from CBD represents a potential new drug against rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. The CBD2 receptor also regulates central sensitization and pain responses associated with osteoarthritis in the knee joint, according to this 2013 study.

It should also be mentioned that the cannabis-based drug Sativex, developed by GW Pharmaceuticals, shows a significant analgesic effect in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis and causes significant suppression of the activity of the disease.

Why Not Cannabis Instead of Anti-Pain Meds?

A scientific consensus is emerging after these, and other studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory action of the two main cannabinoids can effectively slow arthritis and reduce its symptoms. An ever-growing body of research identifies cannabinoids as possible treatments for arthritis, but the vast majority of specialists or family physicians are unaware of this potential. The lack of official guidelines and specific treatment protocols prevents health professionals from taking into account the experiences of patients with cannabis. Proven methods, compositions and dosages are needed to reassure conventional medicine about the effectiveness of cannabis on arthritis. It’s urgent,

Oils, Sprays or Local Application?

A range of reliable cannabinoids products designed for human health is available today, following local laws. The methods of consumption and dosages are not yet entirely determined, also because, in herbal medicine and pain reduction, the effects may vary from one patient to another. Cannabis foods, inhaled oils or extracts can help relieve various types of pain, but locally applied cannabis products are probably the most common treatment for cannabinoids for joint pain.

These balms and creams allow patients to target only the painful regions and saturate their local cannabinoid receptors with phytocannabinoids. In most testimonials, these products help almost instantly to relieve pain. The latest research also indicates that CBD and THC could partially repair already damaged joints. The effects of local application of cannabis derivatives on areas affected by rheumatoid arthritis have recently been analyzed in a study entitled “Transdermal cannabidiol reduced inflammation and pain-related behaviors in a rat model of arthritis”. This 2016 study indicates that application of CBD relieves arthritis pain and inflammation without causing apparent adverse effects.

Can I Produce Cannabis Myself?

On the issue of private cultivation and production of cannabis for medicinal purposes. The adoption of the Access Regulation to medicinal cannabis in 2016 made legal the production of medicinal cannabis for purposes under certain restrictions. Limits are imposed on these individuals that want to produce, on how many plants they can cultivate, according to their medical records and the expected return according to your conditions of culture.

Benefits of Future MMJ Research:

The safety of people with arthritis and improving the care available to them are at the heart of the medial and arthritis societies priorities.  The aim is to improve the access of patients and doctors to reliable and complete information on which to base their decisions concerning treatments. Given such a numerous amount of positive data accumulated in just a few years, there is a good chance that one-day cannabis treatment for arthritis will be developed further.

Lets closely review the scientific explanation of the Human Endocannabinoid System.

Visualization of the Endocannabinoid Signaling System.
Originally Published by Leanne Chan ©2011

Institute of Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine,
University of Toronto

Biomedical Communications, Department of Biology,
Universiry of Toronto at Mississauga


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